Maybach Music Group (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - "Power Circle"
(Self Made 2; 2012)
Amid his career defining feud with a crumbling G-Unit empire, Rick Ross famously predicted his third studio album, Deeper Than Rap, would trump 50 Cent's debut by selling 12 million records (overshooting the album's impact by more than 2400%). This is the type of delusional ambition that fueled Ross' unanticipated rise to prominence. If 'You The Boss', 'Bag Of Money', and 'Touch 'N You' the holy trinity of ill-fated singles are any indication of what to expect from the oft-delayed God Forgives I Don't, he's still thoroughly convinced that a diamond plaque is feasible with the right amount of egregious pandering. Casanova Ross makes for a painful listen, but his recent missteps elicit all the more appreciation for the dauntless narcotic peddling caricature he's been cultivating over the last four years.

Unfortunately, Rick Ross' epicurean kingpin persona falls drastically short on the most anticipated line item on Self Made 2's tracklisting. Despite bearing all the ingredients of the tried and true Maybach aesthetic, 'Power Circle' comes across sloppy and mismanaged, which is puzzling considering Ross is widely regarded as a formidable executive producer. The soulful J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League composition is adequate, but the tempo is far too sluggish for a posse cut running nearly nine minutes long. Ricky Madoff declaring himself the "square root of a kilo" is classic nonsensical mafia music, but the awkward delay leading into the main event hinders any momentum he was attempting to establish. Gunplay clearly needs a bump of raw medicine, Kendrick Lamar regresses into his annoying cyborg incarnation, and every contribution sandwiched in-between is equal parts impressive and unnecessary.

It's certainly too early to pronounce Rick Ross dead in the water with Rich Forever (arguably the strongest release of 2012) only six months in tow. But his inability to orchestrate 'Power Circle' into an epic "event record" should be cause for concern. For the first time there appears to be a stark distinction between Ross' approach to mixtapes and retail efforts, with the latter being totally devoid of his innate charm and humor.


  1. The success of Deeper than Rap in the midst of the correctional officer revelation, the ascend pass the remaining naysayers w/ The Albert Anastasia Teflon Don. The amount of music that the public deemed as the "it" records "BMF" "Aston Martin Music" "Imma Boss" "Tupac Back"...

    Rich Forever mixtape. That kind of output over a year an a half isn't sustainable. Of course he would turn out a dud w/ Minaj and got a lukewarm response to the Usher record. There was bound to be MMG fatigue.